When you hear a breath of fresh air what picture forms in your mind? Mine sees newness, freshness and wholesome change. When President Jonathan Goodluck went all over the country telling the poor folks he had no shoes and hence is one of them, that a vote for him is a vote for their dreams and desires, many got carried away by that sentimental positioning. Of course the lies worked as Nigerians got fooled by a politician for the umpteenth time. After weeks of indecisiveness and absolute lull in government, the President finally sent his list ministerial of nominees to the Senate. For the many who had expected a deviation from the norm – the norm being a list that’d contain overused heads, wives, daughters and sons of the cabal, politicians and cronies of the men in power – Jonathan played them like Lionel Messi would have done with a football and now has them on their backside.
For starters, the former Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke got cleared by the Nigerian Senate despite mounting allegations of corruption and more recently the discovery that she did not observe the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). She is billed to return to the same office. That particular ministerial portfolio is directly under the control of Dame Patience Jonathan. She runs the Petroleum ministry through her fashion mentor Bola Shagaya. Theirs is a triangle of fraud that has somehow evaded the prying eyes of attentive Nigerians. That was the reason why her screening today went without a single reference to the NYSC question. Instead of that she was eulogized and praised for being an angel amidst demons. You can be sure that the Senate leadership has been well paid for this particular job. They are all part of the fresh air Nigerians endured the rain and the sun to vote for last April. Nigerians don suffer I swear.
Considering the fact that the foundation of Jonathan’s campaign was built on his sameness and similarity to the Nigerian masses cue “I AM GOODLUCK JONATHAN”, I wonder if one of those who claimed they were Jonathan would have gone ahead to include non-performing ex-ministers, family members of cronies and stooges of past leaders who failed Nigeria in times past. Is that what you’d do if you really were Goodluck Jonathan? Most if not all the successes achieved by President Obasanjo’s government were made possible by professionals – people who manned offices they had years of training for. Think Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mallam Nasir Elrufai, Oby Ezekwesili and a few uncelebrated heads of government agencies like the FIRS and NAFDAC – okay NAFDAC’s head got celebrated. Go from the Cape to Cairo, from Washington to London, a President is only as good as his cabinet. While this particular President wasted a twelfth of the year dillydallying on whom to put on his list, the names he ended up with could not even justify his waste of time. Let us not forget that he is not a new president as he had some twelve months to test the waters. It appears rather than use those months to test run his ability, he’d be using the next four years to do same i.e. to test his inability.
Those of you getting fooled by phony rankings placing Nigeria as the fourth fastest growing economy in the world (or ninth as some other agencies reported), should not be fooled. There is a paradigmatic difference between growth and development. Wasn’t that why our teachers made us understand their differences and individual meanings? We may be growing as an economy but we are far from developing as a people and a society. If we per chance export an extra one million barrels of petroleum per day for a year, it would affect our growth indices as an economy but may not necessarily have any bearing whatsoever on our development. The Africa Report Magazine wants you to believe Jonathan’s promise of a fresh air is something he is sworn and dedicated to, but if by now, and at least based on his ministerial nominees you don’t know better, I’d say you should keep waiting for the birth of the messiah.
He fooled you to get your votes saying he had no shoes and because majority of you had no shoes you should vote for him, you did. Now he is playing you for the fool again by choosing the same folks that were part of the rowdy air he administered to his own kind of fresh air. If this is what fresh air is all about, I’d rather we have a president who’d promise us fresh farts. That way, we know it will be a contrast from this charade. Anything different from this would be better. This President has again shown that he is not cutout to lead. Most of you must be praying for time to run fast enough so you can vote him out, but the sad part of that wish is that most will still go ahead to vote the wrong folks again. We have been fooled over and again yet we allow them to do it again. Sorry but the truth has to be said as living without the ability to voice the truth is worse than death. They say silence is golden but I am absolutely certain whoever said that is not a Nigerian. As for this country, silence is a weakness. I believe those who said they were watching are still doing same because the watchers are being watched too even though many believe the watchers have been duly paid by those they are watching. It is the conundrum called Nigeria. Were you one of the fools? It is okay if you are no longer getting fooled by this football game being played without goal posts.
You can follow Japheth J Omojuwa on twitter @omojuwa